I had just blogged about Giant pitcher Barry Zito obscene salary when two items appeared about Zito. One was in the 8/1/08 WSJ titled, "A Colorful Pitcher's Comeback Plan" and the other in today's JS sports page that showed Zito had won a game 2-0 over San Diego, a team with the third worst record in major league baseball. Zito record was 6 wins and 13 losses for the season. His contract was for $126,000,000.00 but with endorsements, he should earn over $150 million. Since signing the seven year contract, Zito's record since he signed the 126 million contract is now 17 wins and 26 losses. Zito says "you get older and you go through free agency, you start to feel like "s--",this is pretty serious. You've got to have fun." You can have a lot of fun on a guaranteed $18 million a year not counting endorsements.
I can't feel sorry for the owners, the over paid players, the gullible fans, but I feel sorry for the sport and most professional sports in general. What should be fun for all involved has turned into businesses where the idea to perform well, make big money, live high and win is so intense that teams and players cheat.
Wonder if it's worth it and whether players like Bonds, NcQuire, Sosa and Palmerio will die at a ripe old age in good health. Also, would the country be a better place if the addicted fans and the pressuring parents got more involved in what is really happening in this country.
What I saw as a mentor and followed kids in schools, that the boys careers where going to be in big money sports participation. They are as sure as a person playing the Illinois lottery or the slots across the river that they were going to be the one who would "hit the jackpot" or be highly paid like a Thome or a Livingston.
It's great to have high ambitions but someone should be teaching them about what a work ethic is, the theory of odds and planning for real life careers. I don't blame the players for the money. If owners and fans will pay for it, take it. Just don't cheat. Try to be worth what you're being paid.
Read the WSJ column on Zito; "Tatics", by Matthew Futterman. I'ts interesting.